I didn't get drawn for my chosen deer hunt unit, so I'll have to grin and bare it until my son and I learn if there are any leftover permits available. I won't give up hoping to put that ever-so-delicious venison meat on the table before it's all said and done for this year. Hope you had better luck of the draw and will be busy in preparation for your fall hunt.
Lots to do before the day arrives when you can finally hop in your vehicle. As I've said so many times before, practice must be done and lots of it so your trip won't be a total waste or worse yet, you end up with a wounded animal. Get your firearm or bow and arrows out and in shooting shape; be serious about all the practice it takes to be a sure shot and ready for the hunt. Hunting is expensive but well worth doing.
If you aren't already aware of what Yuma has to offer for that much-needed practice whether it's with rifle, shotgun, pistol, muzzleloader or archery, there are ranges at the Adair Park shooting range facility for whatever shooting discipline you prefer. There is also the Foothills Archery Range with 3D animal trail shoots most weekends for practice for archery hunts coming up. Don't forget Sprague's Sports has an indoor shooting range for practice as well. Definitely don't miss out on the Aug. 25 turkey shoot with practice going on all day until there aren't enough shooters for a squad at the Adair Park trap and skeet range.
When you're sure you are ready, keep practicing more while other preparations are being taken care of, then when you get to your camping spot near your hunt unit, practice some more, particularly if that area is of different (higher) elevation than we have here in Yuma! You'll be surprised with what a difference elevation makes. You may have to make adjustments (sight-wise) so don't neglect this part of your hunt. It's a lot easier to adjust prior to taking to the field than doing it when that animal is close by and you're anxious to take that killing shot.
If you're like me, your camp clothes are probably already packed and ready to go. Now's a great time to make a list to be sure to not forget the binoculars, rain poncho and second pair of comfortable boots that you've waterproofed along with the warm sleeping bag and tent, sunshade, game bags and plenty of water for taking care of harvested game. Think about what you'll take for meals in camp as well as food items to take along for each day's hunt. When you think camp stove, think propane as well. Lights in camp will depend on what lanterns you bring. Don't forget a good flashlight (with extra batteries); plenty of drinking and camp water is a definite necessity along with something to eat on with plates and utensils. Also remember the frying pan and pot to cook with and never forget the onion or salt and pepper, or the toilet paper and shovel! Enjoy your hunt — here's hoping it's a huge success.
• Renegade Archers of Yuma: All archers are welcome to shoot the trail with us at 7:30 a.m. Sunday at the Foothills Archery Range. With it being so hot and humid these days, let us know if you'll be coming to shoot so we can have the range all set-up and ready. Call Jean at 247-4450 or Kevin at 726-0953 if you plan to shoot and need directions to the range and if you might need bows and arrows to use (no charge for use), just let us know prior to any Sunday. Adult fees are $3 (first shoots always free) with youngsters always free.
• Yuma Trap and Skeet Club: Open trap and skeet 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays and Sundays at Adair Park. Call Gary Knight at 329-0960. Mark Aug. 25 on your calendar to get in on the annual turkey shoot at the trap and skeet range beginning at 7 a.m. to get ready for the upcoming dove season. It'll be a fun day for us all with plenty of practice at $5 a round available with a turkey to each round's “high score.” Friends of NRA with Mike Brick and his crew will again handle the free junior shooting area at the range for all the youngsters, ages from big enough to hold a gun to 16 years old. Parents should be on-hand. There will be biscuits and sausage gravy followed by hot dogs as the day progresses in addition to cold bottled water, all at reasonable prices.
• Yuma Territorial Longrifles Club: Open black powder matches 1st and 3rd Saturdays at Adair Park with the monthly meeting proceeding the match on the 1st Saturday. Call Dennis Hansel at 342-7573.
• Yuma Rifle and Pistol Club: Matches at the Adair Park big bore range will begin again this fall with the first long-range Palma Match Sept. 15. Call Paul Lerma at 783-6766 or Gerald Brooker at 305-0681.
• Yuma Matchmasters: Open matches at the Adair Park small bore range will sign-up shooters at 6:30 a.m. the 1st Saturday for the Steel Challenge Match, the 2nd Sunday for IPSC Combat Matches. Cowboy Matches on the 4th Sunday will sign-up at 7:30 a.m. Safety meetings proceed each match. Call Bob Wiles at 920-2157 or Joanne Schickle at 502-1298.
• Southwest Bowhunters Archery Club: Archery shoots at 8 a.m. Sundays at Adair Park with the practice range open all week. Call Wayne Wittenberg at 314-0140 or Uschi House at 345-3770.
• Game and Fish open house: The open house will be from 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Yuma Regional Office of Game and Fish, 9140 E. 28th St., with the opportunity to review and ask questions about the 2014 spring hunt recommendations for turkey, javelina, buffalo and bear. Review the proposed recommendations online beforehand at www.azgfd.gov/huntguidelines, then take your questions and suggestions to the meeting.
• Great news: The Yarnell 19 fundraiser held by Sprague's Sports gathered $4,300 to be split evenly amongst the 19 families. Thanks to Richard Sprague and to everyone who made much-needed donations.
• 7th annual Mike Mitchell Memorial Dove Hunters Barbecue is Aug. 31: Win guns, gear and more at this year's fundraiser dinner for the whole family at Pivot Point Conference Center, 310 N. Madison Ave. Doors will open at 4:30 p.m., with dinner starting at 5 p.m. Table sponsors with 8 meals, $500 raffle tickets and special draw ticket $600, $100 worth of bucket raffle tickets $80, 70 door prize tickets $50, Meal tickets $20 with family (2 adults, 2 kids 12 and under) $70. Door prize tickets $1 each or 6/$5, meal tickets $25. Prizes include over 18 different guns, paintings, Fender guitar, bow, barbecue grill, iPad and much more. Call Jeff at 941-1000 or Jim at 920-9091.
• West Nile Virus: The very informative article on West Nile Virus written by reporter Mara Knaub of the Yuma Sun last week not only effects homeowners but fishing enthusiasts as well. If you plan on going fishing anywhere in or around Yuma, be sure to take along mosquito repellent with Deet, while on or near the water. Wearing a cap or hat, long sleeves and long pants would offer added protection.
Hopefully we all got to read about WNV and are aware of what we can do to protect ourselves. In the article, Knaub wrote about ways we can best protect ourselves to reduce the number of mosquitoes around our homes and neighborhoods and how to take precautions to avoid being bitten such as: Eliminating standing water where mosquitoes can breed, do not allow water to collect in cans and other containers, repair leaky pipes and outside faucets, move air conditioner drain hoses frequently, avoid getting bit by mosquitoes when outside at night by using insect repellent, wear lightweight clothing that covers arms and legs, and consider staying indoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active. No cases have been reported in Yuma County this year, just the diseased mosquitoes being reported. For more information on West Nile Virus, visit www.yuma-countyaz.gov.
• Yuma Pro Am Draw Team Series: Hopefully you've signed up, gotten drawn and are on the water now enjoying today's bass tournament that began at safe light. They'll weigh-in at 1:30 p.m. at Fisher's Landing. Bob La Londe reported June results with Manuel Garcia/Frank Whitmore not only placing first but won the big bass of the day as well while Mac McDermott, fishing solo, placed second. Check Yuma Pro Am at yumaproam.com or call Bob La Londe at 580-1270.
• Desert Bass Anglers “The Fun Way to Fish”: The next team bass tournament will be Saturday on the Colorado River with the launch out of Fisher's Landing, open to all anglers with tournament-approved boats. Fish the first time as a non-member, then dues are $15 ($10 each additional family member) plus tournament fees to enjoy the friendly competition along with all the great learning involved. Call Mac or Bobbi McDermott at 726-1984.
• Yuma Valley Rod and Gun Club: Join the club and fish the Aug. 10 Catfish/Bass Derby. Call David or Jon Parrish at 941-6168 or come to the 7 p.m. club meeting Aug. 7 at American Legion Post 19, 2575 S. Virginia Drive, to pay your dues and get signed-up to fish. Anyone interested in hunting, fishing and wildlife conservation is welcome.
• Wednesday Jackpot Derby: Sign-up $5 at Fisher's Landing boat dock at 8 a.m. each Wednesday with the biggest fish weighed in, any species, taking the pot. To fish the Swede Ferguson Monthly Memorial Bass Derby, sign-up $10 anytime during the month and weigh-in at Fisher's boat dock. Winner is determined the last day each month. Call Jimmy Phipps at 782-2207.
• Bass class on the water: To learn how, when and where to catch bass at Yuma area waters with a bass boat and all gear provided, call Dave Willhide at 726-2621. Ask about bass fishing seminars for RV parks and home groups.
Contact Jean Wilson at email@example.com or call 247-4450.